Lozano withdraws from Mexico Gold Cup squad due to knee injury recovery

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He was out, then he was in. Now, it’s official. Hirving Lozano is out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) made the announcement on Monday afternoon, stating that after consultations with their medical staff and the medical staff at PSV Eindhoven, Lozano needed more time to recover from damaging MCL ligaments in his right knee. It’s a huge blow to new Mexico manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who likely was counting on a big summer from the World Cup goalscorer.

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In a statement, the FMF said that Lozano was evaluated in Mexico City on Monday, and it was determined he wouldn’t make it back in time to contest the tournament. Mexico’s first match is on June 15 against Cuba at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

After initially suffering damage to the MCL of his right knee in late April, it appeared Hirving Lozano would miss out due to the injury. However, the second prognosis looked more promising, with Lozano then feeling he’d be able to recover in time. And yet, it didn’t come to pass.

Under Martino, this was to be a summer of change for El Tri. Despite being able to select up to 40 players for each nation’s preliminary roster, Martino just picked 29 players, leaving out veterans including Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Giovani Dos Santos, Hector Herrera and Jesus “Tecatito” Corona. Martino had a falling out with Corona after reportedly finding out Corona ignored his international call-up last March due to injury from a press release, and not word from the player himself.

Without those players on the preliminary list, Martino has little to choose from, though his choices to wittle down the squad have become easier. It’s now down to 27 with Miguel Layun suffering an injury last week. With Lozano out, now players like Erick Gutierrez and Uriel Antuna of LA Galaxy have a chance to impress on a continental stage.